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Rumor Ubisoft: French newspaper attacks with stories of harassment, rape and sexual assault.

Woopah

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And that's precisely why I said "unsubstantiated assertions", "alleged decisions" and "as a matter of principle".

Once you can demonstrate what their decision was, what their motivations were and where their mistakes lies, the conversation will move from the abstract and theoretical, where they have the upper hand as a matter of principle, to the actual, where facts speak louder than bombs.
Their decision was that games with female leads don't sell. My argument is that games with female leads can sell and I would substantiate this with the sales figures of Tomb Raider, Horizon, Last of Us 2 and Half Life Alyx. We have data which shows the management are operating on a faulty premise.
 

Kamina

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I dont get it. Do such big companies not have compliance rules and officers who make sure to investigate accusations and initiate the removal of offenders if the allegations turn out true?
Or is this a new concept?

Also, are we really talking about harassment and rape, or is it more like: “Hey Susan, looking good today, what are you doing after work?” followed by “Hello HR? I want to report harassment!”
 
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B-universe

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Their decision was that games with female leads don't sell.

That's not a decision. That's something specific higher-ups allegedly said. Feel free to put as much stock in that claim as you want. Let's take into account their decision was to have female protagonists on both Odyssey and Valhalla.

My argument is that games with female leads can sell

Ubisoft management seems to agree.

We have data which shows the management are operating on a faulty premise.

No, we have claims that assert that this or that Ubisoft exec said this or that, when their decision was to have female protagonists on both the previous and the next instalments.
 
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yurinka

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Their decision was that games with female leads don't sell. My argument is that games with female leads can sell and I would substantiate this with the sales figures of Tomb Raider, Horizon, Last of Us 2 and Half Life Alyx. We have data which shows the management are operating on a faulty premise.
These talks about deciding who was going to be the main character of these AC must have been done many years ago, when Horizon and TLOU2 weren't released (and I doubt Half Life Alyx sales sould be an example of great sales).

It's true that recently we saw more female protagonist games selling well, but back in the start of this generation, the previous one and beyond it was true that most AAA games with female characters had way worse sales (Heavenly Sword, Remember Me, Beyond Good & Evil, etc) with only Tomb Raider and a few other cases as exceptions.

As I remember they said that 70% of the AC Odyssey players did play with the guy, which more or less proves their point: it's ok to have female main characters but in this kind of game people seem to prefer to play with a guy.

And well, this kind of decisions aren't related to sexism, it's about marketing. Higher ups want to maximize sales, so try to put on their games the stuff they see it generates better sales. If to have a green deer as main character would give them better sales, they would put it as main character.
 
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iconmaster

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Let he who has never choked someone at a company party cast the first stone.

Seriously though, that's pretty out there
 

KyoShiRo330

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Nah not anymore. Not when being perceived as having looked at someone too long is called harassment these days.

Unfortunately you are right, we live in a crazy, stupid time as people tend to act like assholes. Here in France, a new law theoretically allows someone to feel attacked for a look (!) that she will have found too insistent...
But I think good use of words still matters because we must not confuse serious cases like this one, and people who as you know it, go to Twitter to say whatever they want.
 
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Woopah

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That's not a decision. That's something specific higher-ups allegedly said. Feel free to put as much stock in that claim as you want. Let's take into account their decision was to have female protagonists on both Odyssey and Valhalla.



Ubisoft management seems to agree.



No, we have claims that assert that this or that Ubisoft exec said this or that, when their decision was to have female protagonists on both the previous and the next instalments.
But we also have to look at history and see they did not have female protagonists for many installments.

I don't see any reason to doubt the Ubisoft employees but if we want to rely only on things which are 100 percent confirmed, we know a Ubisoft exec said that adding a female character is too much work and that only having a male lead is their only option. Given that, as you say, the latest games do have female leads and that a sizeable chunk of players choose that option, we can clearly state that the Ubisoft exec was wrong.

My arguement is that management should have supported the team's wishes from the beginning, not blocked them based on faulty premises.
 
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Woopah

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Jun 15, 2019
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These talks about deciding who was going to be the main character of these AC must have been done many years ago, when Horizon and TLOU2 weren't released (and I doubt Half Life Alyx sales sould be an example of great sales).

It's true that recently we saw more female protagonist games selling well, but back in the start of this generation, the previous one and beyond it was true that most AAA games with female characters had way worse sales (Heavenly Sword, Remember Me, Beyond Good & Evil, etc) with only Tomb Raider and a few other cases as exceptions.

As I remember they said that 70% of the AC Odyssey players did play with the guy, which more or less proves their point: it's ok to have female main characters but in this kind of game people seem to prefer to play with a guy.

And well, this kind of decisions aren't related to sexism, it's about marketing. Higher ups want to maximize sales, so try to put on their games the stuff they see it generates better sales. If to have a green deer as main character would give them better sales, they would put it as main character.
Fully agree, it's not sexism it's just execs believing that "women don't sell". You hear similar things about skin colour and I wouldn't say that's racism, just execs wanting good sales.

The trouble is that this became a self fulfilling prophecy. Because higher ups believed it, not many games with women got made so there wasn't much data to look at. Then when a game with a female protagonist does badly people say that it's because of the female lead. Then when a game with a female protagonist does well it becomes an exception. I'm glad we're begining to move past that and most execs realise that most gamers just want good games.
 
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Sep 19, 2017
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I dont get it. Do such big companies not have compliance rules and officers who make sure to investigate accusations and initiate the removal of offenders if the allegations turn out true?
Or is this a new concept?

Also, are we really talking about harassment and rape, or is it more like: “Hey Susan, looking good today, what are you doing after work?” followed by “Hello HR? I want to report harassment!”
In the op: rapes under drugs (premeditation, fucking premeditation, since when premeditation is: hello Suzan), homophobius culture in the firm. And the boss refused many times to PROCTECT his people.
 
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yurinka

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Fully agree, it's not sexism it's just execs believing that "women don't sell". You hear similar things about skin colour and I wouldn't say that's racism, just execs wanting good sales.

The trouble is that this became a self fulfilling prophecy. Because higher ups believed it, not many games with women got made so there wasn't much data to look at. Then when a game with a female protagonist does badly people say that it's because of the female lead. Then when a game with a female protagonist does well it becomes an exception. I'm glad we're begining to move past that and most execs realise that most gamers just want good games.
There's a million things that make people think "it's a good game". They have to justify budgets of hundreds of dollars, so when they need to make changes they need to back with data their opinion to explain why this or that will work better. Mostly with "games that have X make more money than the ones who don't", because even inside the teams there are people with different ideas about something so they need to justify their opinions.

In this case, it's that. While ago, there were a few big games with female only protagonists every year or so, and most of them outside Tomb Raider and a few cases tanked in sales. In AC probably weren't happy with AC 3 Liberation or AC China (yes, a Vita and a small spinoff, not AAA games) just to name some example in addition to the other ones. Something that more or less made sense because their console/PC main market was mostly North American and European males, so they made mostly games targeting mostly white males.

Starting in the PS3 generation and digital games the % female console/Steam started to grow, mostly because many came from Wii, DS, browser, mobile and PS3 casual games like (in Europe) Singstar. And they started to reach new areas of the world too partly to F2P that started to become big on mobile and PC, so their demography started to be more diverse (and they noticed they were doing games for white males only and would be good to be more diverse).

They started to see some big AAA games with female only protagonist to perform well, so they are putting more female protagists (or allowing to choose a female version of the main character, or there's an editor, something that always did work like in Resident Evil, Street Fighter, etc). Same goes with skin colors, I think it was probably starting in The Division (I think it was their first current gen only game), they started to include a good amount of representation in the NPCs too. Not only Ubisoft, you can see it in other companies like Sony too. They are opening to that.

Another would be the games with dads as main protagonist. In addition of having a majority of males in console/Steam market, the average age of the players kept growing since the 8-16 bit age, back then most of them were mostly kids or early teenagers so they made games for people about that age. Now these kids now have like 30-40 years and some of them have kids (and well, same goes with the devs themselves), so they saw it was a good idea to put fathers as main characters and that taking a role in the game, someone tried it, it did work in sales so they kept doing it in multiple games like Heavy Rain, TLOU, God of War, etc. Even Marcus had a kid in GoW.

Same goes with bigger things like features, game modes, game genres, etc. They stick to what it works for them. If they see some brave team who does something differently that works, they try to replicate it if they see it isn't too saturated.

And so on. They try to do a product that they think the type of customer who buys or may buy their product may like according to the market data they have from previous similar products. It isn't something made in videogames, it's something made everywhere. It's marketing.
 
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Vaelka

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Apr 1, 2019
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Fully agree, it's not sexism it's just execs believing that "women don't sell". You hear similar things about skin colour and I wouldn't say that's racism, just execs wanting good sales.

The trouble is that this became a self fulfilling prophecy. Because higher ups believed it, not many games with women got made so there wasn't much data to look at. Then when a game with a female protagonist does badly people say that it's because of the female lead. Then when a game with a female protagonist does well it becomes an exception. I'm glad we're begining to move past that and most execs realise that most gamers just want good games.

I don't really buy this whole '' not many games '' in regards to female protagonists and characters.
In comparison with male ones maybe, but if you take into consideration how few women played games in comparison with men if anything they were severely overrepresented. And there are a ton of popular franchises that starred women.
People tend to talk about this as if female characters is some recent thing but they've always been there, people just talk about it way more now because social issues are such a big deal now.
If anything is a self fulfilling prophecy here imo it's that people keep repeating this myth and make it seem like women in games were rare.

I think that the reason for these attitudes from exces are mostly because video games have been seen by people in general as a thing for teenage boys, Microsoft used to do this a lot with their marketing with the original Xbox and the 360. Their commercials were pretty questionable at times and if they came out today people would be losing their minds and they'd be labeled misogynistic.
I mean as big of a fan as I am of DoA, some of their commercial were a bit much ( she kicks high, just a panty shot trailer basically ) and Mortal Kombat used to have a bunch of trailers like those too they were quite common.
Gaming was basically seen by marketing departments as something for college frat boys and it was marketed as such towards that stereotype, and to some extent they still are. I mean even here with Ubisoft it was also the marketing department at fault too and their shitty attitudes.
Even Tomb Raider had this problem too, the devs hated how the marketing department marketed their games in a way that focused almost solely on Lara Crofts sexuality.
Lara Croft was a sexual character to some extent, but the marketing department basically took it to 11 against the will of the developers because marketing departments are often completely out of touch. A lot of them don't even know anything about video games and work based on stereotypes, they come from marketing in television etc.

Now they've done a complete 180 and any kind of sexuality or overt femininity is seen as a big no no, they basically just took the female characters and put them into the male box where it's all about anger and masculinity.
That's really all that has changed.
 

Woopah

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Jun 15, 2019
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There's a million things that make people think "it's a good game". They have to justify budgets of hundreds of dollars, so when they need to make changes they need to back with data their opinion to explain why this or that will work better. Mostly with "games that have X make more money than the ones who don't", because even inside the teams there are people with different ideas about something so they need to justify their opinions.

In this case, it's that. While ago, there were a few big games with female only protagonists every year or so, and most of them outside Tomb Raider and a few cases tanked in sales. In AC probably weren't happy with AC 3 Liberation or AC China (yes, a Vita and a small spinoff, not AAA games) just to name some example in addition to the other ones. Something that more or less made sense because their console/PC main market was mostly North American and European males, so they made mostly games targeting mostly white males.

Starting in the PS3 generation and digital games the % female console/Steam started to grow, mostly because many came from Wii, DS, browser, mobile and PS3 casual games like (in Europe) Singstar. And they started to reach new areas of the world too partly to F2P that started to become big on mobile and PC, so their demography started to be more diverse (and they noticed they were doing games for white males only and would be good to be more diverse).

They started to see some big AAA games with female only protagonist to perform well, so they are putting more female protagists (or allowing to choose a female version of the main character, or there's an editor, something that always did work like in Resident Evil, Street Fighter, etc). Same goes with skin colors, I think it was probably starting in The Division (I think it was their first current gen only game), they started to include a good amount of representation in the NPCs too. Not only Ubisoft, you can see it in other companies like Sony too. They are opening to that.

Another would be the games with dads as main protagonist. In addition of having a majority of males in console/Steam market, the average age of the players kept growing since the 8-16 bit age, back then most of them were mostly kids or early teenagers so they made games for people about that age. Now these kids now have like 30-40 years and some of them have kids (and well, same goes with the devs themselves), so they saw it was a good idea to put fathers as main characters and that taking a role in the game, someone tried it, it did work in sales so they kept doing it in multiple games like Heavy Rain, TLOU, God of War, etc. Even Marcus had a kid in GoW.

Same goes with bigger things like features, game modes, game genres, etc. They stick to what it works for them. If they see some brave team who does something differently that works, they try to replicate it if they see it isn't too saturated.

And so on. They try to do a product that they think the type of customer who buys or may buy their product may like according to the market data they have from previous similar products. It isn't something made in videogames, it's something made everywhere. It's marketing.

I don't think we're disagreeing here, I agree with everything you said. In the 80s and 90s video games were primarily marketed to men and certain ages and skin colours and now they are targeted much more broadly, which I think is a good thing.